Confused??? I don’t blame you, there is so much ‘information’ out there from traditional print media to social media and yet it doesn’t seem to add up does it? No clear narrative, no straightforward no nonsense informative news. So who do we turn to? maybe some random person on facebook with a video who talks your language but do they fact check? Or are they simply sharing an opinion? So why does it even matter anyway, right? after all, with so little you can trust its easy just to get fed up, angry and simply form an opinion, nothing wrong with that surely? You often see memes like this….
Seems legit? I say whats on my mind, I’ve got ‘balls’, I’m ‘real’ and not a ‘fake ass’, even if what you think isn’t true? Have you ever been slandered? If you have then you know how it feels and regardless of the slanderers claims of ‘speaking their mind’ or ‘just saying what others are thinking’ it doesn’t change the fact they are either lying or distorting the facts either out of sheer malice or total disregard for the facts. Slander inevitably leads to gossip and in this way people begin to form opinions about you based on outright lies and distorted facts.
While I’m not saying ALL media/news outlets do this (after all, that would require a fact check) I can however point out objectively how stories tend to spread, people are labeled with titles which are then repeated ad nauseam, think of some very well worn words you might have heard over the last decade or so, individuals are criticised constantly often for the most trivial things and in many cases they are slandered, lies are repeated over and over again about these people. So why should you care? For the very reason that you care when someone slanders you or someone you care about, because you would want people to know the facts, the truth and disprove the lies being spread about you.
Even when its not about you, you have a right to the facts and while its not easy to see beyond what is essentially a lot of slander passed off as news and information, there are some things you can do.
1.Articles usually have images, download those images then drag and rop them into Google images, you will get a timeline of that image, how old it is and where else it has appeared.
2.When public figures are quoted and especially when they are talking about other people, it’s worth researching into what else these public figures have said as it gives you an insight them at least in the public eye, have they contradicted themselves? Have they ever lied? Is what they say factual?
3.Do some cross referencing, have a look at a wide variety of articles on a subject, get the full picture, the beauty of the internet is that we can have our say so long as we are careful to ensure to the best of our abilities what we say is factual.